4 min read

WWDC 2013 iOS 7 Announcements – First Impressions

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Like many other apple enthusiasts I’ve been keenly expecting the WWDC 2013 Keynote for some weeks now and it’s finally here

Here are my first impressions on having watched the keynote

Well … first off I found the new look and feel of iOS 7 to be alarmingly similar to competitor products which left me feeling a bit devastated. At first it looked a lot like a ‘me too’ product – something I thought I’d never say about apple

However Mashable seems to think quite highly of it so I hope my impressions were wrong

One questions that kept popping up in my mind through the presentation was “Is Apple missing Steve Jobs more than they realize?” I guess the answer will be reflected in their  stock price in the coming months.

The iOS7 environment

  • The multiple pages in folders looks pretty promising. For a app happy chap like me that’s gold. I have a lot of trouble fitting a plethora of productivity apps into one screen – admittedly I do have a very large collection – much larger than average
  • Intelligent scheduling seems to have borrowed from the concept behind the Mac fusion drive and if it improves performance anywhere near the bump I’ve seen in my new fusion then I’m sold!
  • Opportunistic updates sounds pretty impressive too – looking to download updates in a free data environment like wifi is always a good thing

Safari in iOS7 looks pretty impressive

  • Reading list scrolling from article to article without having to go back to the list is a great thing. I use this feature a LOT and look forward to the simplicity and time saving aspects it will bring
  • Scrolling through unlimited Multiple tabs also looks great but I’d need to watch for information overload. Or should I say information super overload!
  • Swiping the tabs off to the left to make it just go away is great. Can’t wait. Having to keep going back to the reading list to manipulate it is quite a pain. I know I’m spoilt!

Control Centre – about time!

  • I thought the flashlight feature belonged in a much earlier update but Apple does try to integrate new features deep into the OS so I’ll give them a free pass on this one
  • Multitasking across all apps (as opposed to selected apps) is also a feature that I would have liked to see earlier. But I’m glad it’s finally here
  • The transparent interface grew on me as I watched the keynote but it just looks to much like Windows, which leaves me with a weird feeling.

Photos app

  • The new photos feature called moments which groups photos by the location and time of the photo
  • I like that you can edit photos in iOS – always nice to have
  • The sharing option for iCloud is pretty cool (looks like iCloud is going social too Now that I think about it looks like iCloud is a bit late on this bandwagon)

Siri’s fresh look and feel

  • The new Siri interface with the male and female voices wasn’t exactly revolutionary – didn’t do much for me
  • What is very useful though is the ability to tell Siri to “turn on bluetooth” or  “increase my brightness” – now that’s what I’m talkin about
  • Siri – Wikipedia integration was also good to see. This is an important alternative to google as far as I’m concerned and often more accurate

Other features

  • iOS in the car Looks like Apple is gunning for the car industry by embedding itself deeply into the total driving experience
  • Apps near me sound interesting. This feature informs you of the most popular apps in your physical area. This is going to drive a lot of app sales—impulse buys in particular.
  • Automatic app updates are nice. But how do I now keep track of the updated features in each release? (I currently use the manual updates as a trigger to keep in touch with the extra features in each update
  • Great user experience US only and other countries to follow) which is ad-free music for iTunes Match subscribers. Big gamble for the music moguls given that they are now relying almost completely on impulse buys from listeners (but then what other choice do they have?)
  • FaceTime audio sounds great and is a welcome relief. I suspect apple has brought this in to drive take-up of FaceTime.

iOS 7 is coming this fall

    When exactly? Fall has usually shown around September in the past.

A bittersweet conclusion … for now

While my first feelings about iOS7 (and come to think of it my current impressions too) were those of disappointment around the ‘me too’ness in terms of iO7s appearance, that’s about all I can discern for now, and given I’m not a developer and won’t be getting access to the software till the wider release)

Given my experience with Apple products, I don’t doubt that they will hit the ball out of the park for iOS 7 delivering excellent functionality as sleek solutions for its users. And to me that’s the kicker.

All in all the upcoming enhancements show a lot of promise in terms of functionality which to me is the biggest differentiator that apple offers from its competitors. I believe that their products “just work”

My next post talks about my impressions of iOS7 24 hours later: iOS7 may be ‘windowsy’ on the ‘surface’ but I’m looking forward to some serious depth in functionality this fall!

 

 

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